Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Shockingly Good- James Long Mens and Womenswear

Long first trapped my notice having been awarded the TopShop Emerging Talent award at London Fashion Week, February 2012...

The man himself has long (haha) been producing an interesting and original line of knit and menswear for a while now and  I think he deserves the recognition he has gained. 

Having completed his Menswear and Accessories training at the Royal College of Art, the sky is now the limit for Mr Long. 

I recently had the pleasure to have a chat with the man himself at Paris Fashion Week London Menswear Showrooms in July 2012. Post-discourse, I was left yet more with the impression that the pieces this guy creates, and his design ethic, is something to experience with joy. 

Here are a few of the star-dazzled exerpts that I remember from our conversation: (image credit: Sarah T Skinner...)

Kat: What inspires you as a designer?

James Long: I have been interested in the mentality brought alive by the New York set in the 70s, people like Patti Smith and complementarily, Robert Mapplethorpe, for a while now. The idea of DIY, no reservations, just a singular, intense and quite innocent exploration of art and design. The freedom is something I try to re-create at my design house.

Kat: You began graduate life as a mens and knitwear designer. What first encouraged your forays into womenswear?

JL: Since my first collections came out I received a lot of good attention for the pieces I produced, which were primarily for men. As womenswear forms such a huge and important majority of the fashion world, however, it didn't take me long before I started listening to the clamours of female fans also looking to wear a bit of Long. So I slightly adapted some of the more popular menswear pieces for girls and this is where it's led me.

Kat: How important is it to come to Paris to showcase your designs?

JL: Paris is really important for all new designers like me. We aren't so established as to attract   buyers specifically to London to see us so this is one of the unique ways in which we can broadcast ourselves to a wider audience. It's also a great way to see the city!

With these thoughts in mind, I present to you a small selection of Long's latest link in a rapidly-growing chain of great ideas. Particularly check out this collection's signature cut of short, with an innovative and gorgeous pleated front which makes me reflect on origami and the samurai.

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